Cover Image
close this bookHandbook for Legislators on HIV/AIDS, Law and Human Rights - Action to Combat HIV/AIDS in view of its Devastating Human, Economic and Social Impact (UNAIDS, 1999, 152 p.)
close this folderI. INTRODUCTION
View the document(i) Gravity of the Global Problem
View the document(ii) Impact on Development
View the document(iii) Purpose of this Handbook

(ii) Impact on Development

Successful public health measures have stabilized the epidemic in most developed countries, but this is true of only some developing countries. Many developing countries are experiencing exponential growth of HIV/AIDS cases. Global spending on HIV/AIDS care, research and prevention reflects this disparity - developing countries only receive about 12% of such resources despite having 95% of cases. Socioeconomic factors contributing to the spread of HIV/AIDS which disproportionately impact on developing countries include: poverty; illiteracy; gender inequality; increased mobility of populations within and between countries; and rapid industrialization involving the movement of workers from villages to cities, and consequent breakdown of traditional values.2

Because HIV/AIDS is concentrated in prime-age adults who are usually at the peak of their economic productivity and are often heads of families, it has an immense impact on life expectancy, exacerbates inequality (e.g. surviving orphans), and increases the burden on health systems. Governance, development and human rights are increasingly being recognized as interdependent,3 as HIV/AIDS undermines recent development achievements. In a few years of accelerated spread, AIDS has become the leading cause of adult death is some developing countries, and may be the most important macro-economic and social determinant of human welfare and poverty.4 The risk of develop-ment projects worsening the epidemic in areas of high prevalence can be averted by effective government responses. An example is the Chad-Cameroon oil pipeline sup-ported by the World Bank that has incorporated HIV/AIDS prevention interventions5.